I’ve been using Wacom tablets since 1997 — actually, I’ve
been using the same Wacom tablet for the last 8 years. It’s a 6x8 ArtZ
II model which features a serial connection and requires an AC adapter
I do a lot of graphics work that effectively necessitates
using a tablet: using a mouse while trying to draw anything with an organic
feel to it is a lot like using a sledge hammer to set a finishing nail (not that
I’ve ever used a sledge hammer in such a fashion!).
Enough with the preamble! I say this you all: Wacom makes a durable product, and from the looks of things, the
Graphire4 won’t be any exception.
Unlike its heftier relatives in the Intuos line, which we reviewed here or the Cintiq series of
tablets, the Graphire4 is available only in 4x5 and 6x8 sizes. I’ve rarely — if
ever! — needed more input real estate than my old 6x8 provided. The Graphire4
comes with a cordless, battery-free, pressure-sensitive pen (with 512 levels of pressure sensitivity)
and a cordless, battery-free mouse. I’m left handed (much to the chagrin of anyone who’s ever
tried to use my work station) – and it’s great to have an input device that
doesn’t require me to conform to the rules of Righty! (The mouse is
The pen has a nib at one end and an eraser at the other;
it also has two programmable buttons, commonly used for left- and
right-clicking, though you’re by no means required to use them that way.
The mouse, on the surface at least, looks like any other
two-button wheel mouse. (The wheel also functions as a third button.) When you
flip it over, however, you’ll notice that instead of a trackball or diffused
red LED, there’s just a fabric surface. The mouse’s buttons are also
Graphire4 also comes with an installation CD and software bundle CD that
includes Adobe Photoshop Elements 3, Corel Painter Essentials, EverNote Plus 1,
JustWrite Office 4.1, and nik Color Efex Pro 2 GE.